Looks like smooth sailing ahead for Sarah Palin’s candidate in the Utah Senate race. Senator Orrin Hatch is leading phony Tea Party candidate Dan Liljenquist 60% to 32% in the Republican primary.
From Deseret News:
SALT LAKE CITY — Sen. Orrin Hatch has a significant lead over his opponent in Tuesday’s GOP primary, former state lawmaker Dan Liljenquist, according to a new Deseret News/KSL-TV poll.
Sixty percent of the registered voters in Utah polled who said they will vote in the Republican primary backed Hatch’s bid for a seventh term in the U.S. Senate. Just under one-third of the respondents, 32 percent, said they supported Liljenquist.
The poll, conducted June 15-21 by Dan Jones & Associates, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percent.
“Those are very good numbers for the senator,” Hatch’s campaign manager, Dave Hansen, said. “It’s nice that the voters of Utah, the Republican voters, have that much confidence and support for him.”
Liljenquist, who forced Hatch into his first primary in 36 years at April’s state GOP convention, said he’s not surprised by the poll results.
“Our biggest challenge by far is name recognition,” Liljenquist said. “We’re going after a guy who has perfect name recognition in this state and has reinforced it with $10 million of spending and big endorsements,” including the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.
Hatch has been campaigning hard ever since Republican delegates ended Sen. Bob Bennett’s re-election bid two years ago at the party’s state convention. Bennett’s replacement, Sen. Mike Lee, is a key figure in the tea party movement.
The national tea party organization FreedomWorks, as well as former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum, have endorsed Liljenquist, seen by his supporters as a conservative alternative to Hatch.
But while Hatch reported raising more than $10 million since he last appeared on the ballot in 2006, recent Federal Election Commission filings show Liljenquist personally contributed about half of the nearly $800,000 raised by his campaign.
Pollster Dan Jones said Liljenquist has not been able to build on his convention success. There, Liljenquist won the votes of more than 40 percent of the GOP delegates while Hatch fell just short of the 60 percent he needed to become the nominee.
“I just didn’t see any movement for Liljenquist,” Jones said.
Like we don’t have enough to worry about, it seems that Medicare fraud has gone international. Mark Tapscott from the Washington Examiner reports there is growing concern money stolen from Medicare, through fraudulent claims, is ending up in Communist Cuba.
Senators Orrin Hatch and Tom Coburn, along with Congressman Peter Roskam say billions of dollars may be lost annually to these schemes:
Two U.S. senators and a representative worry that billions of tax dollars could be going to Cuba and other foreign countries via criminal schemes designed to defraud Medicare and Medicaid.
The schemes often involve the use of “nominees,” individuals who are paid to be fronts for the actual owners of corporate entities being used in the fraudulent operation. By concealing the identities of true owners, the approach invites its use to funnel tax dollars out of the country.
In a letter made public yesterday to Marilyn Tavenner, acting administrator of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid, senators Orrin Hatch, R-UT, and Tom Coburn, R-OK, were joined by Rep. Peter Roskam, R-IL, said they fear billions of tax dollars are being lost annually as a result.
“Clearly, the program vulnerabilities that facilitate billions of dollars to be stolen from the Medicare program each year also allow for some of that money to be funneled to foreign countries,” the three congressmen said.
“While the fraud itself is unacceptable, the loss of American dollars to foreign countries because of flaws in our system is totally unacceptable. The American people deserve the peace of mind to know that federal officials are doing everything they can to safeguard taxpayers’ dollars and the Medicare program.”
“Thus far, it does not appear that CMS has addressed the concept of nominee owners, false storefronts, and shell companies in any of its enrollment regulations or its Provider Screening statement of work,” they said.
Earlier this week, federal officials in Miami charged Oscar Sanchez in connection with a criminal operation that resulted in an estimated $31 million going to Cuban banks.
“Prosecutors say Oscar Sanchez, 46, was a key leader in a group that funneled $31 million in Medicare dollars into banks in Havana — the first such case that directly traces money fleeced from the beleaguered program into the Cuban banking system,” the Miami Herald reported Monday.
“Most of the money moved through an intricate web of foreign shell companies before ending up in Cuba, to avoid being detected in the United States, said investigators,” the Herald said.
Also earlier this week, federal officials announced the capture of two other individuals who had been involved in multi-million dollar frauds with overseas connections. In one, Irina Shelikhova was arrested Monday at JFK Airport in New York when she tried to re-enter the country from the Ukraine.
“From approximately March 2005 until July 2010, Shelikhova and her co-conspirators allegedly paid cash kickbacks to Medicare beneficiaries to induce them to receive unnecessary physicians’ services, physical therapy, and diagnostic tests at the medical clinics,” according to the Inspector-General of the Department of Health and Human Services.
“The co-conspirators created fraudulent medical records for these beneficiaries and then filed false claims with Medicare for these medical services, which either were never provided or were not medically necessary,” the HHS IG said.
Shelikhova and her co-conspirators are believed to have defrauded Medicare of as much as $70 million.
In the second case, federal officials arrested Miguel Cabello last week when he attempted to re-enter the country through Champlain, New York.
Cabello fled the country to Cuba in July 2008 after being indicted on health care fraud charges. “Cabello submitted approximately $2.1 million in fraudulent Medicare claims on behalf of south-Florida-based OB Pharmacy, Inc., and he received approximately $1.3 million in Medicare payments,” according to the HHS IG.
“Before Cabello’s involvement, OB Pharmacy, a durable medical equipment company that specialized in aerosol medications, submitted $151,572 in Medicare claims and was paid approximately $58,653.
“Around April 2008, Cabello became vice-president of OB Pharmacy. Investigators have concluded that OB Pharmacy submitted claims to Medicare for services that were not rendered, including approximately 10 claims for deceased beneficiaries.
“Investigators interviewed physicians who stated that they did not know the OB Pharmacy patients in question nor did they prescribe the medication purportedly provided to them.”
In their letter to Tavenner, Hatch, Coburn and Roskam cited a University of Miami report that quoted a former Cuban intelligence officer saying there are “strong indications” that the Castro government aids Medicare fraud, especially in South Florida, and provides safe harbor for individuals involved in those efforts.
“If confirmed, this indicates that Medicare program dollars are not only funding international criminal syndicates, but may be helping prop up the Castro government,” the congressmen said.
Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch has joined his congressional colleagues in demanding Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation in the wake of Operation Fast and Furious.
Hatch made the call during a Wednesday interview on former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s radio show. “Well if he doesn’t cooperate with the Congress on this Fast and Furious, where one of our agents was killed because of the stupidity of this administration, then he ought to step own,” Hatch said.
“He’s basically a nice man, but by gosh he’s been so partisan in that job that I’m very concerned about him and tend to support Sen. Cornyn and others who think that he ought to retire.”
Huckabee said he calls Holder by the nickname “Eric withholder” because “he seems to be withholding so much more information than he’s coming forth with.”
Hatch becomes the fourth U.S. senator to demand Holder’s resignation over the scandal. Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn demanded Holder’s resignation to the attorney general’s face during a Tuesday Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Republican Sens. Jim DeMint, Johnny Isakson and James Inhofe did so beforehand.
Two sitting governors — Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Rick Perry of Texas — join those senators, as do 129 House members and presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in pushing for Holder to step down.
Say what you will about Senator Hatch, but he is right and pointing out that it was the stupidity of the Obama regime that got all of these hundreds of people killed.
A lot of fair weather Conservatives have trashed Sarah Palin because she has endorsed Senator Orrin Hatch over phony Tea Party Candidate Dan Liljenquist in the Utah Senate race.
As I wrote at the time, I think Sarah made her case quite well, and as the video below shows, her choice was a smart one:
Liljenquist has not won a thing yet, and he’s already talking about reaching across the aisle and helping democrats raise taxes! Yeah, he says they must be tied with spending cuts, but as Senator Hatch correctly notes, when asked, the democrats will raise taxes, but the spending will never stop.
We don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. Orrin Hatch understands this, Dan Liljenquist, just like the democrats, doesn’t seem to understand this, or the fact that raising taxes generally lowers revenues, rather than raising them.
As much as I’m in a “throw them all out on their asses” mood, Senator Hatch is showing why sometimes an old, experienced hand, is good to have around.
Dan Liljenquist is not the sort we need in Washington. We have enough of his type there now, and it’s why the country is in the sorry shape it’s in.
I talked at length about murdering domestic terrorist, and Obama regime employee Brett Kimberlin, on Friday. It turns out Kimberlin has a very long history of abusing the courts as a way to inflict terror on his targets.
Kerry Picket is reporting Kimberlin targeted Senator Orrin Hatch in 1999:
Senator Orrin Hatch, Utah Republican, knows very well how Mr. Kimberlin operates. Senator Hatch’s office sent me a statement on the story above:
“Senator Hatch has had run ins with Brett Kimberlin before and they weren’t pleasant. So it’s certainly no surprise that Mr. Kimberlin has now taken to harassing and targeting conservative bloggers. Needless to say, efforts to silence and chill political speech are contrary to the values of our Constitution and First Amendment.”
In 1999, Mr. Kimberlin sued Senator Hatch and a staffer for geting involved in Kimberlin’s parole case in 1997.
Here’s something for the authorities to ponder. Brett Kimberlin is a convicted terrorist, drug dealer, murderer, and so on. If he’s out on parole, exactly how are his acts of terrorism that are being committed as I write this, not grounds for permanent revocation of his parole?
To put it bluntly, why is the animal with a long history of terroristic behavior still allowed on the streets? Why aren’t our elected official;s demanding he be rounded up and sent back to prison?
We know he’s a tool of the democrat party, and funded by party elites, but have people become so afraid of the regime they will allow a rabid animal like Brett Kimberlin to have free reign?
I’m not going to tell readers that I’m Senator Orrin Hatch’s biggest fan, but I can tell you, I certainly understand why Sarah Palin has endorsed him, and agree with her 100%.
After breaking the news on Greta’s show, Governor Palin eloquently laid out her reasons for backing Senator Hatch on Facebook. Watch the video and read her note here.
As Sarah notes, Orrin Hatch has consistently been the strongest, loudest voice, championing Conservative nominees to the Supreme Court. This is a big deal, as the next president will likely appoint two or as many as three new Justices to the Court.
That he was a strong ally of Ronald Reagan’s is definitely a plus in Sarah’s eye, mine too.
Senator Hatch has also been one of the few voices of reasons in the Senate, when it comes to reigning in spending.
Budget issues are just as important to Sarah, as the rest of America.
Not long after the endorsement, Dave Montero tweeted this about Hatch’s opponent in Utah:
Dan Liljenquist just introduced as “a Bain Capital, Mitt Romney Republican.” Not sure I’ve heard that kind of intro before. #utpol #utgop
I shared this with Stacy Drake, noting anyone who would allow themselves to be introduced as a “Mitt Romney Republican” is not a real deal Tea Party guy.
Stacy did some digging and found that Liljenquist is backed by Dick Armey’s phony Tea Party group Freedom Works. And Liljenquist has never been a Tea Party kind of guy.
Liljenquist has enjoyed unofficial support from the monied tea party group FreedomWorks but doesn’t himself identify as a tea partier. “He’s never labeled himself a tea party [candidate],” Holly Richardson, his campaign chairwoman who resigned her own position in the Utah state house to run his campaign, told TPM. “He has been labeled a tea party candidate, but in fact, he’s a reality-based candidate. He feels like the reality is: We’re out of money.”
Liljenquist has never fully embraced the tea party — he told the Washington Post more than a year ago that the “froth and bubble” of the movement would die down long before concern over the economy goes away.
Mark Levin, spent almost 30 minutes on his show defending not only Sarah, but Orrin Hatch. He says he’s proud of Sarah Palin.
This is a long tape, but please listen.
Levin has old audio of Senator Hatch fighting Senator Joe Biden as the democrat party conducted what has been called a “high tech lynching” of now Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. You’ll hear other Republicans on the tape, but it was Orrin Hatch who forcefully stood up for Thomas.
As Levin points out, Senator Hatch has been a leading voice for Liberty and Freedom.
It should also be noted Senator hatch was one of the few who said they would “fight to the end” for Robert Bork as the nominee for the Court, when other Republicans ran and hid. We know how that ended.
Levin calls out Dick Armey, a big open borders, amnesty guy, as is Hatch’s opponent, Dan Liljenquist.
It goes without saying that I’ve never trusted Armey, who pretends to be a Tea Party guy, while shilling for the Republican establishment and their agenda.
There’s more to all of this though. Sarah has called out Hatch before, noting he’s one of the few in the Senate looking to do what is right on fiscal matters. Robert Costa over at National Review Online has, as Paul Harvey used to say, the rest of the story.
It seems over the years, Sarah and Hatch have developed a deep respect for each other. They’ve developed a solid relationship and trust.
The two people least surprised by Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Senator Orrin Hatch this week are Palin and Hatch. In the Twitter and Facebook era, they became political allies the old-fashioned way: through handwritten letters and personal phone calls.
It’s an unlikely, politics-fueled friendship that’s fit for a Robert Caro book. Hatch, a soft-spoken grandfather, is one of Palin’s top outside mentors. He encourages her and cheers her. They share family stories, they discuss history, and they talk about legislation.
“It’s true,” Palin tells National Review Online. “He’s a warrior.” She respects his record, especially his work on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where Hatch has frequently been an influential figure during contentious Supreme Court confirmations.
Even though she is 30 years his junior, Palin has grown to appreciate Hatch’s historical perspective on Congress, the presidency, and the conservative movement. “I respect public servants who benefited from and grew under the tutelage of Ronald Reagan,” she says.
The warmth is mutual. “She and her husband are the handsomest couple that I’ve ever met,” Hatch says, smiling, as we chat in his spacious Senate office. “They’re both top-flight people and I got angry with the mainstream media constantly running her down.”
Hatch openly acknowledges that he has long and doggedly sought Palin’s support. For him, strong personal relationships are an elemental part of politics. They do not trump his principles, he says, but they have enabled him to become a force on Capitol Hill.
I know most of us are in a “throw em all out” mood. I know I am! And it was Orrin Hatch who, said famously years ago of his opponent who had been in the Senate too long, when asked what do you call someone like that, “you call them home.”
But lets look at this election in Utah, and lets be pragmatic.
First, we are learning that while Hatch may not be perfect, he’s been damned consistent over the years, consistently on our side.
Hatch is also the ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee, a very powerful committee. If Republicans can take back the Senate, Hatch will be running that committee. It would be nice to have someone who thinks like Sarah Palin when it comes to slashing spending and balancing budgets.
On the other hand, Dan Liljenquist is not of the Tea Party mindset. He’s made a point of saying so on more than one occasion. As a new member, he would have no rank, no real standing.
Again, I want to see new blood. If I had my way no one in Congress would serve more than 12 years, the equivalence of two Senate terms. That said, we don’t have those rules in place, yet, so we have to work with what we have.
Throwing someone out for the sake of throwing them out is not always the best plan.
Let’s not forget, besides Sarah Palin and Mark Levin, Senator hatch has the backing of the Tea Party Express, the NRA, and Steve Forbes, just to name a few. That’s a impressive group of people.
In endorsing Senator Hatch Sarah ended by saying:
I join other conservatives like Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, and Tea Party leaders like Sal Russo in encouraging Utah voters to return Orrin Hatch to the U.S. Senate. Since Mark Levin has always got a way with words, read what he recently told Senator Hatch: “I feel that you would be… a terrific elder statesman to a lot of these other young guys who I’m going to be pushing in these other states.” I’m with Mark. That’s spot on.
We need Orrin’s conservative Reagan-like leadership – and our new crop of conservative senators Richard Mourdock, Deb Fischer, and Ted Cruz might need some friendly advice finding their way around the Senate.
It’s not a bad idea to have an elder statesman, especially when that elder has proven to be on our side, and his replacement has an iffy record, at best.